As the weather is starting to turn cool in Northeast Ohio, we over at Re/Max Haven have started to winterize the properties we manage. If you’ve never thought about winterizing before, now is the time. To help you out, we’ve put together a guide full of ways to winterize and prevent damage during the cold months.
Most likely your house is already insulated, but have you looked closely at where and how much there is? Many times attics have minimal insulation as builders work only on meeting the minimum requirements. Since heat rises, improving the insulation in the attic can make your heating more efficient. Another area to consider is the basement. While most basement ceilings aren’t insulated, when the temperatures drop plenty of cold air can come in through the floor and ceilings. So make sure you take the time to consider your insulation!
We’ve all been next to a drafty window before, and felt just how much cold air can come through a poorly sealed opening. Keep the cold out and the heat in by checking your windows and doors. You can add weather stripping and caulk to areas that could use improvement. Door draft stoppers are another easy and inexpensive way to keep the cold out. Whether you buy a stopper at the store or use a rolled up towel, it’s easy to feel the difference when drafts are plugged up.
Prevent Frozen Pipes
There are a lot of ways that winter weather can make life difficult for property owners. But a frozen pipe bursting can cause an especially big headache. Preventing pipes from freezing is relatively simple though. First make sure outside faucets are shut off and covered. While you’re outside, you can also caulk any cracks or holes near the pipes. You can cheaply and quickly add insulation sleeves to exposed pipes or pipes in cooler areas. And if the cold temperatures get extreme, turn on an indoor faucet to a lukewarm drip. If the building is vacant, or has unused areas, it’s wise to drain the system completely and add an antifreeze.
Clean Your Gutters
The crisp autumn is the perfect time to clean out your property’s gutters. Dirt, leaves, acorns and other debris clogging your gutters isn’t just a problem when it rains. In the winter months, when roofs are covered in snow, the inner layer can melt and it needs somewhere to drain - and preferably not into your roof! Another wintertime gutter problem can be ice dams forming. Ice dams cause the same problem as debris, filling your gutter and leaving the water nowhere to go. The Insurance Institute for Home & Business Safety is a good source for more info on ice dams and how to prevent them.
Owning property is never risk free, and keeping up with maintenance comes with the territory. Hopefully this guide has been helpful and answered some of your winterizing questions. Feel free to comment below with any other concerns. In the meantime, stay warm!